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Gitchi Gumme in the Apostle Islands

The 2021 Gitchi Gumme Project will be July 28 – August 1 in the Apostle Islands!

In 2011 members of the Midwest paddling community noticed that youth from urban areas and minority communities were severely underrepresented at most kayak symposiums. Therefore, in 2012 Chicago Adventure Therapy was invited by the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium to bring urban young people to Lake Superior for a week of camping and kayaking. It was such a success that CAT was invited back the following year and encouraged to bring even more youth. Thus began the Gitchi Gumee Project.

After five years, the Gitchi Gumee Project became too large for the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium to continue hosting. Starting in 2017, Chicago Adventure Therapy began running our own version. In 2018 the Gitchi Gumme Project changed locations to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and became the CAT Apostle Island Rendezvous. Now in its third year, the Apostle Island Rendezvous brings together paddling coaches from throughout the country with young people from Chicago for a week of camping, paddling, growing, and building community. If you are a coach interested in attending or want to find out how to bring a group of youth, please email us at

Read about the successes, trials and adventures of past Gitchi Gumme Projects:
9359951990_ec53db1d34_zGitchi Gumee 2014

Gitchi Gumme I (2012)
Gitchi Gumee II (2013)
Gitchi Gumee III (2014)
Many, many thanks to all of the individuals, coaches and organizations that made the first five years of The Gitchi Gumme Project possible. We are especially grateful to the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium and Down Wind Sports for inviting us and to our wonderful sponsors for providing us with safe, high quality equipment:
Bomber Gear

Werner Paddles
Wilderness Systems

Down Wind SportsGreat Lakes Sea Kayak SymposiumKokatat
Gitchi Gumee Sponsors